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Page last updated at 08:23 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Australia secure consolation win

Third Test, Sydney:
Australia 445 & 257-4 dec bt South Africa 327 & 272 by 103 runs

Match scorecard

Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson grabbed two wickets for the Australians

Australia dismissed South Africa for 272 with only 10 balls remaining to win an entertaining third and final Test and avoid a series whitewash.

Graeme Smith, returning to bat with a broken finger, fell to Mitchell Johnson to hand the hosts victory, although the tourists won the series 2-1.

The tourists started the day needing 314 to pull off an unlikely result but lost quick wickets.

Peter Siddle was man of the match with Smith named man of the series.

Australia's victory meant that they retained their position at the top of the International Cricket Council's official Test rankings.

The South Africans had already clinched the three-match series after winning the first two Tests in Perth and Melbourne and began the fifth day on 62 having lost Morne Morkel on Tuesday.

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The first session did not go as planned for the tourists with Neil McKenzie falling with the total only moving forward by six runs. Jacques Kallis then fell for just four and Hashim Amla went for 59.

AB de Villiers showed some resistance with a solid 56 but was eventually bowled by Siddle, leaving his side on a precarious 193-7 at the tea interval.

Makhaya Ntini held out for over 17 overs, adding a fabulous 50 runs for the ninth wicket, before Dale Steyn was removed lbw by Andrew McDonald for 28.

This set up a dramatic finale as South Africa tried to cling on for the draw with Smith, not having played since retiring hurt with a broken finger and troublesome left elbow in the first innings, deciding to bat.

Smith entered the arena with 7.2 overs left to a standing ovation from the SCG crowd and survived for 17 balls before falling for three to Mitchell.

Man-of-the-match paceman Siddle ended with match figures of 8-113.

The world's three leading news agencies are not covering the series because of a dispute with Cricket Australia.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Associated Press have suspended all coverage of the 2008-09 season.

Their photographers and reporters did not supply material from within the ground. As a result, we cannot use pictures from the current match.

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see also
Brave Smith beaten but not down
07 Jan 09 |  South Africa
Paceman Lee faces five months out
04 Jan 09 |  Australia
SA skipper Smith breaks his hand
04 Jan 09 |  South Africa
Clarke century boosts Australia
04 Jan 09 |  Cricket
Aussies lick their wounds
30 Dec 08 |  Cricket

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